The Most Important Relationship In Your Life
The most important relationship you’ll ever know and maintain is with yourself. The greatest love you’ll ever meet has to come from within – nothing less.
“You have to risk everything you are in order to become everything you want to be.”
Here are just a few of the key things that I grasped in my time which will hopefully help you too:
I used to let myself spiral in far too many stressful situations. It doesn’t help. Ever. I would beat myself up for flaws and faults, rather than proactively working to fix these issues. It’s not in any way good for your personal growth or your mental well being. Telling yourself you’re not good enough is like a self-fulfilling prophecy – and you never want to see that path through. Change your path. Grow. Learn how to find positives in yourself and other people. Give people the benefit of the doubt (more on that later) even when you can’t clearly see why they would ever deserve it. Because it’s all you can do to put good into this world.
I read an article that really stopped me in my tracks, published in Forbes of all places. It relates the power of positive thinking with your health and performance. Please read it. Life’s about the journey, so be sure to enjoy it.
Life doesn’t make sense sometimes. Roll with it. It’ll be clear later – it really, really will. You’ll realize that the hardships were lessons in disguise. But don’t ever allow yourself to get trapped in the idea that “this is just the way it is”. No. Things change, circumstances change, people do change. So forgive, accept, and move forward. Set out to leave situations better than when you found them. Leave the door open for great things to happen, because no one ever deserves to leave a greatness unexplored.
Life also isn’t something you can control or define. But you can stick to your guns when navigating it – if you’ve made a mistake, fess up. It’s okay to take awhile to realize it, just know that you need not be stubborn.
A good friend once said:
“Don’t ever mistake my kindness for weakness”. It’s true – don’t let anyone ever exploit your gift of kindness and compassion. When someone isn’t necessarily even “deserving” of kindness, give it anyway. You’ll realize that you’re the very best self you deserve to be.
Passion for Growth
There’s no learning in being stagnant. If you catch yourself saying something along the lines of “I’ve always wanted to…” – just stop. Stop. STOP. Do it. Find the time. We’re only shaped by our experiences, so please allow yourself to live your life. I realize I’m being curt and emphatic, but I know this all to be deadly true. Youth is a blessing. Jump off a cliff, travel the world, and meet people that make you whole. That’s the best way to learn.
Yes, I’m Canadian – I can boast that this trait tends to be inherent and ingrained in our culture. But it takes work to maintain. Especially when you have low self esteem or self worth, and good things happen to you. There, I said it. I’m often self-conscious and not able to push myself to love myself perpetually without feeling like I have to ingratiate myself. Building confidence yet having humility takes time, and it takes a skilled emotional hand.
Benefit of the Doubt
I have to credit Derrick for his wise words on this one. I’ve had blow outs with friends and family. Bad ones. I was stubborn, and unwilling to open up the floodgates for what real emotions lay on the other side. That was a sign of immaturity. The best way to grow is to let yourself understand others and see things from their point of view. It’s too easy to say that you can. You can’t until you dig deep and force yourself.
Controlling your emotions is a tough thing to do. Without control and personal training, it’s easy to lash out and say things or do things you don’t mean. Try not to get caught up in the heat of the moment. If you need a few hours to rationalize things to yourself, do it. And never let yourself become a victim of the “easy way out”. I’ve had several stories where miracles show up from keeping your cool and fighting through.
Here’s one really simple one that I won’t forget. Two days before I graduated university, my computer freaked out and decided to erase all of its contents. It also decided not to operate. My dad (the loving man he is) drove me to the Apple store, I bawled for three minutes at my intense loss, then collected myself to go home and use my four year old desktop tower computer. I stayed up all night finishing a Brand Management presentation and the last issue of the school news paper’s cover. Fighting through everything got me to the other side, where I got an A in the Brand course, and the paper was done and sent to print on time. This was only the start of all the rest of the stories I’ve collected since.
I get emotional. It’s what girls do…it’s not right, but it happens. Find out what’s making you break down – could the true source be frustration of how to express yourself? Maybe it’s because you don’t know how to react to the situation. Whatever it is, ask others for feedback, and really try to find patterns of why you’re reacting the way you are.
Mending Takes Time
I’ve had fall outs – many times with the people closest to me. It sucks, it doesn’t make sense at the time, but I know that there’s always an underlying desire in the long run to make it work again. Always. I’m guilty of being impulsive when it comes to some of these things – if someone is causing me unhappiness, I oust them as a coping mechanism. It’s not the right thing to do, and I’ve learned over time to talk it out. Sometimes it just works, sometimes it takes time. But don’t rush it – just be open to it. I recently had a revelation that if I find myself thinking about a former close-friend, I would give them a call. 20 minutes does wonders to kick start that friendship / relationship again. It’s always worth it, and likely stronger the second time around.
My longest running friend of 23 years recently got married. I can’t tell you how hard it is to have a loyal friend for that amount of time, with that amount of understanding and compassion. She’s amazing, talented, bright, and deserving of her newfound wedded happiness. We’ve fought numerous times (twice even going for a year without talking). But she’s been the missing piece of my childhood and she’ll always have a place in my heart :).
This is applicable to yourself too – losing yourself means going out and finding it again. It starts with mending yourself and having the strength to reach out to those around you to make things right.
My life year over year has a tendency to have dramatic shifts. I’ve found myself at a huge fork in the road, about to embark on an incredible journey of discovery and everyday epiphanies.
I’ve had the most intense points of growth, positivity and literally found highlights of my life at these forks. I’ve also been the recipient of immeasurable pain points, life tests, and on-the-surface tragedies. But these are the things that propel you to become your true self. And only then, can you make room for true love.